North Platte's Rail Fest has logged in visitors from 33 states and 11 foreign countries, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013.
The American Bus Association (ABA) included the North Platte Rail Fest, to be held on Sept. 19, 20 and 21 in 2013,on its list because the event offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world.
"North Platte's Rail Fest focuses international attention on North Platte," said Lisa Burke, executive director of the North Platte/Lincoln County Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "In only its sixth year, it has been named an ABA Top 100 event twice. This says a lot about the quality of the experience visitors have at Rail Fest."
"The attractiveness of Rail Fest as a don't-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for North Platte," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The real news here is that Rail Fest has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives North Platte an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners."
According to studies completed by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave anywhere from $5,000 to more than $11,000 in a local destination's economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.
"Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer," Pantuso said. "That's why Rail Fest is truly a local economic asset. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay."
The Top 100 Events list is available online at http://www.buses.org/News-Publications/Top-100.